The best study choice

Maybe this is not the place to talk about whether I have chosen the right study, but I am going to do it anyway.

In May 2020 I finished high school, the years before that I started my search for the study I wanted to do. I visited open days at Rotterdam, Eindhoven, Twente, Breda, Nijmegen and so on. I went to quite a few open days. But there was never quite a study that got me very excited. Yes, in Breda the KMA (Koninklijke Militaire Academie/ Royal Military Academy) got me excited, but the selection is very physical and I was, and am, not ready to start training for that selection; but maybe someday after I finish my bachelor I will.

But during a ski trip with my parents, I had to study for a test week in high school. And for some reason I was excited about studying for my chemistry test, I was looking forward to it. Who looks forward to studying? That is very odd for most students. That is when my parents suggested that I should start looking into chemistry studies. So that is what I did. And I ended up with Chemistry in Nijmegen. Looking back, plain and ‘simple’ chemistry was maybe not the best choice and I should have looked into the chemistry that is applied in studies, but well I didn’t do that back then.

In August 2020, I started with the study Chemistry in Nijmegen. Because of covid, there was no fun introduction week so that was quite a bummer. Therefore the first day of uni was quite difficult because I didn’t know anyone yet. Also, all lectures were online so it was not that much fun. After a month or so I started to settle. Two days per week I got to go to the campus, one day for tutorials and one day for lab practicals. I was travelling between my parents' house and campus which was 1,5 hours from door to door, so I started looking for a room in Nijmegen. I stumbled upon an acquaintance who had a room in Nijmegen which she was going to move out of.

So there was a room for me in Nijmegen from November on. At this point, I had signed up for the rowing association and started talking to my boss about a transfer to Nijmegen. It might sound like I had it all figured out, though I was struggling with my study choice. Was this the study for me? Wasn’t it too difficult for me? Are these fellow students my type of people? All that sort of stuff. Well, the lab practical’s were awesome, which kept me motivated.

Somewhere in January, I was really struggling. I had an amazing time during Christmas with my family and was having difficulties with the study and its content. I already failed 2 or 3 courses of the 10 (yes you had 5 courses per period, that is extreme compared to GSS). When I arrived back at my room I felt lonely and was not having a fun time. It helped that once a week I had row training and we ate dinner with my roommate once a week. It was not much but at least it was something.

In the Netherlands there is the rule when you quit your study before February, you will get your college money totally refunded. Meaning I had to decide before February whether I wanted to continue or not. The study advisor really helped me out with this struggle. She told me what my options were if I quit or if I stayed. She was really understanding of my struggles. Eventually, I decided to continue with Chemistry but only follow the courses I liked and try to get my BSA. This would mean I could finish Chemistry at some other point to get my propaedeutic. So I started looking for a study that I was going to follow the next academic year.

That is when I stumbled upon GSS. This study had the applied chemistry I was looking for but also has a lot of opportunities to make it your own with the track and the elective courses. Currently, we are at the point I was starting to have struggled with Chemistry but this year I am more confident in my study choice. Though I still have some uncertainties. And Covid does not make it easy on me with social contact. But that is a struggle everyone is dealing with. So I guess we still have to see what the future brings and how my life will evolve. 

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